On the road visiting the Lord’s flock in Wyoming, here are the tremendous sights that our eyes caught. How providential it was! Maranatha, Come O Lord. Part II of the video at the end of the blog. Glory to thee O Lord!
Advent, another new beginning in the Christian Year of Worship and Preparation for His Second Coming. Another year of opportunity to return back to the Lord from whom we come, to whom we belong and to whom we shall go back. Its a great time to turn away from sin and seek His face. May we be found faithful in His service at His Second Coming.
The import of this season is highlighted by Vernon Staley himself. Excerpt from the “Catholic Religion” a manual of instruction for members of the anglican communion by Vernon Staley- 1893 (Courtesy of google books on line):
10. The Return to Judgment.. From thence He shall come to judge the Quick and the Dead.”
The second coming of our Lord, which is the hope of His Church, will differ in many ways from His first coming. He came first in great humility when He did not abhor the Virgin’s womb, His second coming shall be in awful majesty. His first coming was as the Saviour of the world, He will come again to be our Judge. It is in commemoration of these great events, the one in the past, the other in the future, that the Church keeps the season of Advent.
That our Lord will come again is perfectly certain, for He has said so; but the time of His coming is veiled in uncertainty. He who said,.’ they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall He send His angels, and shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost
part of heaven,” went on to add, ” But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father,” [St. Mark xiii. 26, 27, 32]
The purpose of the second coming of Jesus Christ is stated in the Creed,-” He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.” By the expression II the quick,” we are to understand
the living,-those who shall be -alive on the earth at the second coming of Jesus Christ. Of such it is written that they” which are alive and remain shall be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air.”[ 1 Thess, iv. 17]
The day of judgment is described as “the day when the Son of Man is revealed.” [St. Luke xvii. 30] By this we may understand that before pronouncing sentence, Jesus Christ will first satisfy the assembled universe of His righteous claim to be their judge, so that friend and foe alike may be convinced of His perfect equity.
The day of judgment will be the day of justice, when all life’s inequalities will be put right, and everyone will get his due. As such St. John speaks of it,-” I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from Whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life:” and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.”[Rev. xx. II-13]
The judge will be none other than our Incarnate Lord Himself, “the Son of Man.” “The Father hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.”[St. John v. 27.] We shall be judged by one who is both God and Man. In the divinity of our Lord, we have the assurance that He will judge us fairly, for as God He knows oar frailty, our temptations, and our struggles. In the humanity of our Lord, we have the pledge that we shall be judged tenderly, for as Man He knows from experience what we are, and what we can do. We shall be judged with God’s perfect justice, and with man’s perfect sympathy. The result of the judgment is separation; the Judge “shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats,” every soul going to its own place, the place for which it has fitted itself, at the right hand, or at the left hand of the judge. “Then shall the king say unto them on ‘his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,”-and again “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.”[ St. Matt. xxv. 31 to end.]
In speaking of this solemn subject St. Basil writes,-” Blessed is that soul, which day and night hash no other care than how, in the great day, when every creature shall stand around the Judge to give an account of their works, she shall be able to relate her life. For whosoever continually places that day and that hour before his eyes, and ever thinks of his defence at that most just tribunal, is likely to commit no sins,or at least very few,” [Quoted by Bishop Forbes. Nicene Creed p. 249]
O Come Emmanuel Part II